I learned a new word today, neckbeard. A neckbeard is apparently the result of being too busy to be bothered with grooming. At the cost of razor cartridges, I must admit I have considered the legbeard and even beardpits (sounds like a legendary pirate, doesn’t it?…arrrgh).  But, it’s not a very Disney-esque visual, is it.  My daughter turned me onto that new word. She also added that guys who “don” neckbeards are typically basement dwellers (another new word to me).  These are basement dwelling geeks who live with their parents and reside in their basement. Where they play video games all day long and eat cold pizza. You know…like the stay-at-home-son from Hangover 2.
What does this have to do with defensive driving you ask?  I was driving my daughter when she screamed “Look! A neckbeard…ewww!”  And me, like a dope, nearly broke my spleen trying to catch a glimpse of the bearsquatch (that’s my own word…and you’ll probably see it on Wikipedia tomorrow). And I nearly rear-ended the car ahead of me. I’m talking about distractions while driving. And people wonder why they consider talking on the phone a distraction. Some people believe that there’s no difference between having someone in the car talking to you and taking on the phone. But, even if you are talking to that person hands free, you are still not completely engaged in the driving process.  You are not completely focused on that very important task at hand…driving. And, the person on the other end of the line cannot see what is going on around your car while you’re talking to them, so they won’t know when you need to focus to avoid an accident.  Like my daughter who was with me in the car and acted much like someone on the other end of the phone…clueless. I had to remind her that she needs to be sure not to do this when she is riding in the car with one of her peers (or me). And, to not follow my example of rubbernecking and nearly causing an accident. That’s probably a good reason to limit how many friends your new driver has in the car with them. Less distractions mean less accidents. And, one reason they do not allow a new driver to have more than one non-family member in the car (plus, I suppose they only want you to kill one friend at a time…not all of them at once). So, it’s not always the driver that is doing things to distract themselves, sometimes it’s the passengers in the car who create the biggest distractions.
That’s when duct tape comes in handy. It comes in kid-friendly pastel colors, too.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson